Thinking of buying a second home? You don’t have to be rich, but you do have to be careful.
The New York Times offers these tips on keeping costs a little more reasonable:
Lock in your mortgage rate early. Mortgage rates are on the upswing. You’ll save money in a volatile economy by getting your mortgage approved as early as possible, before the rate goes up even more. Compare rates so you can find the best one for you.
Negotiate your closing costs. You can sometimes bargain for a lower cost on some closing fees, like pest inspections. Some costs are nonnegotiable, but take a close look at everything in your agreement for items you can reduce.
Examine maintenance fees. If you’re buying a condo or any community with a homeowners association, remember you’ll have fees on top of the selling price. Those fees can affect the size of the mortgage you’re eligible for, so take them into account when applying. Look at whether the association has an emergency fund for unexpected issues, and if any special assessments are coming up.
Look for tax breaks. Remember that you can deduct mortgage payments and property taxes if your new home is for personal use. If you plan to rent out the property, other tax breaks are available, like deductions for maintenance and depreciation.